Now, this blog is about email marketing but here’s a quick warning… I am going to mention the G-word so apologies now. Just when you thought you’d seen the back of it after months of ‘consent emails’…

I’m referring to GDPR if you didn’t guess. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll be completely fed up of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the new data protection laws.

So, email marketing… since GDPR came into affect, by far the most common question I’ve been asked is ‘What’s the point in email marketing now I’ve lost 90% of my database thanks to GDPR?’. It’s a valid question, so here’s my take on it.

Is it still useful? In a nutshell, and in my opinion, YES!

If you’ve cleansed your database properly to be compliant with the new laws, then you should now have a database (granted, it’s much smaller) of people who actually want to hear from you. That is a marketers dream.

What we’ve also seen is the effectiveness of campaigns increase massively. From personal experience, I’ve seen open-rates increase from about 25% to more than 60%. That’s 60% of your audience seeing your message. You don’t get that from many channels. Organic Facebook posts sometimes don’t exceed 10%, for example.

And remember, email marketing is cheap, sometimes even free! MailChimp can be used for free for up to 2,000 contacts.

Now you have this new clean database, it needs to be used wisely more than ever though. Let’s not annoy them like we’ve all been guilty of in the past.

I always try and look at things from a consumer point-of-view. After all, I’m a consumer a lot of the time and there’s nothing worse than being bombarded by emails from companies you have little or no interest in. Always remember that when sending your email campaigns and ask yourself one simple question – would I want to receive this?

Not all emails will appeal to everyone, every time. But make sure that you give them a reason to stay subscribed – even if it’s just that one email a year that they’re waiting for.

It’s also important to remember to continue to build your database and gain new people to talk to.

Obviously, I’m talking generically here and not all businesses lend themselves to email marketing. As with all marketing, judge which are the best channels to market yourself on and invest time, effort and money in them.

The GDPR process was a headache for every marketer and I’m definitely glad it’s over – both from a marketing and a consumer point-of-view – but I do believe it was a good thing. The new laws are up-to-date with the way modern society functions and it puts control in the hands of the consumer, which I’m most certainly glad of.

Yes, it means acquiring a database is harder than ever but it also makes marketers work better. I have no problem with either.